Educational Session II
Thursday, May 16th, 1:00-2:30
As They See It: Documenting and Preserving Lived Experiences of Minority Communities with Minority Communities
Panelists discuss diverse examples of elevating the needs and goals of communities and cultural traditions when undertaking archival documentation work. By employing deep listening techniques in setting the tone and objectives of work with marginalized communities, archivists and cultural documentarians can best ethically serve the communities actual needs. Panelists will share three examples of community engaged projects shaped by listening and respecting the memory, values, and needs of non-dominant communities. Whether re-envisioning a community cemetery as an archive and “reading room” of lived experiences for generations of community members, wrestling with the weight of danger and individual defiance in recording undocumented immigrant oral history, or negotiating the complexity of the living legacy of a federal Indian boarding school’s nearly 100 year history, panelists will explore diverse understandings of archival boundaries and community needs.
Audiovisual Materials in the Archive
From selection and appraisal to preservation and access (and beyond!) audiovisual materials pose unique challenges and opportunities to archivists. This pop-up session facilitates discussion amongst colleagues about the multifaceted challenges posed by responsible stewardship of time-based media, including but not limited to appraisal, preservation, digitization, and access. Colleagues are encouraged to share specifics regarding successful and innovative projects, programs, workflows, and solutions developed at their institutions.
Assessment in the Archives
Assessment is the cornerstone of informed decision-making and continuous process improvement. This session will offer observations and lessons from three institutions that have used various assessment methods to further institutional goals. During the Southwest Collection’s 7-year digitization initiative, staff transitioned from educated guesswork to multi-metric, data-driven assessment in order to select collections for digitization. UNLV’s Special Collections is collecting data on in-person and online use and users to better inform digitization priorities and the online presentation, organization, and description of digital materials. UNLV has also developed its own method to improve the accuracy of processing rate predictions to better inform priorities, timelines, staffing, and budgets. The Center for Creative Photography conducted surveys of all 270 archival collections to identify priorities for preservation, finding aid cleanup, and processing problem areas. Panelists will offer both broad observations on various types of archival assessment and specific takeaways.